Cadillac Owners Forum banner

1 - 20 of 50 Posts

·
Registered
Cadillac
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Guys, I was torquing down the headbolts on my 4.6 Northstar last night. The first three passes went good, however the 4th pass, first bolt, I just got to 60 degrees when it pulled though. I dont know what to do except take the head off and throw another insert in it, and not tighten it down as much. I know this will cause problems in the future. However I do no want to buy the bigsert kit as I already have a lot of money into this job.

The reason this pulled out was because the front head gasket was done in the past, with timserts. I drilled out one of them and realized that it has been done because the tap did no tapping, it went in very easily. I put a timesert in there anyways hoping it would hold.

Are the headbolts that I installed still okay to use?
 

·
Registered
The Northstar Tuner
Joined
·
2,759 Posts
awesome! That is MY POINT!!!!!!!!

danssts
Sorry for your troubles. you must have a 99 and prior correct?
Norms inserts are the best thing to use on 99 and prior.
The time serts inserts may have broke in half or just pulled out.
check out NS300L on ebay.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
The Northstar Tuner
Joined
·
2,759 Posts
The correct replacement for a pulled Timesert is a Bigsert. This is the GM engineered and validated repair.
I do not believe that one bit! The last time I checked they had not been approved.
Also on the GM Cadillac dealers forum I have heard of the big inserts pulling.
You did not read my other posting in the link to the Fiero forum.
.
http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/075382.html
.
Bottom line to fix it and not replace the short block you need Norms inserts.
 

·
Premium Member
2006 STS V8 AWD, '95 Ford Ranger
Joined
·
28,969 Posts
According to Bbob, a GM Powertrain engineer who was on the original Northstar design team, both Timeserts and Bigserts were fully engineered and validated by Time and GM before the first Northstar engined car was ever sold. Some of the block defects may have been so gross that they were not 100% effective but they did a more than adequate job for many years. As time goes by memories fade and facts are muddled but the guy that did the actual work can still ask, "Vas ya dere, Charley?" (Baron Munchausen")
 

·
Registered
Cadillac
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
So the thing to do would be to remove the broken insert and replace it with a longer one??
 

·
Registered
Cadillac
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
And yes it is a 99 sts, the rear head went on nicely, I finished it today with no problems
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,250 Posts
The reason this pulled out was because the front head gasket was done in the past, with timserts.
You sure it was a timesert and not a helicoil?

The correct way to fix it is a bigsert. It is not longer, but larger in diameter. This gives it more surface area to bite into. Some people skip the timesert altogether and go straight for the bigsert. Try to install another timesert and you're basically running with one less bolt. Chances are all of the other holes are "loose" too. Which would you rather do - fix it right now, or put it all back together again and have it overheat severely if driven more than 1 mile (and have to pull it all apart again)?
 

·
Registered
The Northstar Tuner
Joined
·
2,759 Posts
You sure it was a timesert and not a helicoil?

The correct way to fix it is a bigsert. It is not longer, but larger in diameter. This gives it more surface area to bite into. Some people skip the timesert altogether and go straight for the bigsert. Try to install another timesert and you're basically running with one less bolt. Chances are all of the other holes are "loose" too. Which would you rather do - fix it right now, or put it all back together again and have it overheat severely if driven more than 1 mile (and have to pull it all apart again)?
I do this all day long guy's. I have an 06 FWD Northstar out currently.
Now I will post all the information.
TIMERSERTS WILL NOT HOLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

·
Registered
The Northstar Tuner
Joined
·
2,759 Posts
Have you been told that your Northstar head bolts are stripped out and there is nothing that can be done to fix it because it had already been repaired once before? That's what happened to me! I bought a pre-owned 1996 Cadillac SLS and started having problems with it overheating, only to find out it had been repaired once before with Coil type and GM-approved Solid type inserts with synchronized internal and external threads. I was told that a new block would be around $7000.00! After doing some research, I found out that the Northstar engines were notorious for this problem.
I am a Tool and Die Maker by trade, and I developed the NS300L Insert System (Patent Pending) out of necessity and frustration. The NS300L Insert System is a thread repair kit I designed to outperform all other insert systems on the market designed for the Northstar engine. Unlike inserts with synchronized internal and external threads, the NS300L insert is a much larger and much stronger insert, with a much courser external thread.
The NS300L Insert System has over two times more thread engagement within the aluminum block than the GM-approved solid synchronized type inserts, and almost four times that of the common coil type inserts. There is nothing wrong with those other inserts, but the challenge is they do not always grip enough of the already weak aluminum, and have a tendency to pull out during the head bolt tightening process. Occasionally, those other types of inserts have failed only a few hundred miles after the repair. I have had several people contact me with this challenge, including Cadillac technicians.
My mechanic was impressed during his installation of my NS300L Insert System in my engine, especially with how easy they were to install.. Not long after that, word got around and I received a phone call from another garage in the area that had the same problem that I did, and heard that I had developed my own insert kit. They had a Northstar that was repaired once before with Coil type inserts, that had stripped out of the block. At their request I made an insert kit for them and they loved it!
The inserts are 1- ¾ inches long and have a M11 X 1.5 internal thread.
Inserts will work in "93" through "99" 4.0/4.6L NorthStar engines and 2000 through 2003 with different depths of lower and upper bank holes.
I received a quote for a solid insert kit with synchronized internal and external threads to do all 20 bolt holes for over $350.00 (the same inserts that pulled out of my block ), and a oversized insert kit to do all 20 holes for over $400.00.
Frequently Asked Questions.
Q - What makes the NS300L Insert System more reliable than the GM-approved insert?
A - The NS300L is a high quality high-strength insert, with a much courser external thread, having over two times more thread engagement within the aluminum block than the GM-approved insert.

Q - Why should I purchase the NS300L Insert System over other insert kits on the market?
A - Piece of mind! Several customers, including Cadillac mechanics, have commented that they were very impressed with the quality and strength of the NS300L insert, and wished they had purchased my kit in the first place rather than going through the expense and frustration of a second repair. These repairs generally cost between $2800 and $4500!

Q - Is the alignment block the only thing that keeps the drill straight? I noticed that the GM-approved kit has a bolted template, and it uses a drill bushing to guide the drill and tap.
A - No, it is not necessary to use the alignment block to guide the drill bit. The first thread in the head bolt hole starts about 1-1/4" below the deck surface. The unthreaded portion of the larger hole above the threads is approximately the same diameter as the drill provided in the kit, which works very well as a built-in drill bushing to keep the drill bit square to the original hole. The alignment block (also known as a "tap block") is used to start the tap square … a common machine shop practice for starting taps straight.

Q - I noticed that the GM-approved kit has a stop-collar on the drill bit. What keeps your drill bit from drilling too deep?
A - The reason the GM-approved kit uses a stop-collar and locating fixture, is because the depth of their hole revolves around their locking feature. They have a flange around the top of their insert to create a positive stop so that the installation tool (a tool much like a thread forming tap) also forms the last couple of threads on the bottom of the insert. The flange prevents the insert from turning during this process. This locking feature expands the last couple external threads of the insert, preventing the insert from turning out in the event that the head bolts would need to be removed later. This locking feature also creates a high amount of unnecessary outward pressure in an area of the engine block that is not very thick to begin with. My inserts are designed without the need for a flange, eliminating the need for a stop collar and eliminating unnecessary outward pressure. The drill bit in my kit is designed to stop when it reaches the bottom of the hole. This is accomplished by removing a portion of the drill point, preventing the drill bit from cutting deeper than the original hole. The drill bit’s cutting edges are also ground in a manner that helps prevent them from grabbing and twisting itself into the hole.

Q - Can the NS300L Insert System be used if the engine has previously been repaired with coil type or a GM-approved "first repair" kit?
A - Absolutely, and my inserts may be your only recourse, short of buying another engine block.

Q - Can I use the original head bolts with your kit?
A - You can, but GM recommends that you purchase new head bolts due to the old bolts being stretched.

Q - Will I be able to purchase only inserts in the future, or do I have to purchase the kit every time?
A - The inserts can be purchased individually.
Success of the NS300L insert kit is based on the inserts being installed correctly and square to the deck surface. It is recommended that the inserts be installed by a mechanic experienced in drilling and tapping holes. When installed correctly, coustomers have found that the NS300L insert system has exceded there expectations.

Insert Kit includes:
Installation instruction
21 Threaded inserts (steel).
1 Tap Drill (17/32" - same size as the counter bores in engine block).
1 5/8-11 Plug Tap
1 5/8-11 Bottom Hand Tap
1 Tap and Tap Drill Alignment Block.
1 "Tap Magic" tapping fluid.
1 LOCTITE 266,(shown) or Permatex high temp. high strength thread lock(10ml).
 

Attachments

·
Registered
The Northstar Tuner
Joined
·
2,759 Posts
Post a picture of the bigsert too. If the timesert doesn't work, then what are the differences between the bigsert and Norm's insert? Are they noticeable?
TimeSert had a picture at one time of both inserts. They showed the two side by side. It was at the time of release of the big serts.
 

·
Registered
The Northstar Tuner
Joined
·
2,759 Posts
Pictures.
This is my block in my car
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,250 Posts
That's what happened to me! I bought a pre-owned 1996 Cadillac SLS and started having problems with it overheating, only to find out it had been repaired once before with Coil type and GM-approved Solid type inserts with synchronized internal and external threads.
Wait, so it was repaired once or twice total? Helicoils are not an approved substitute for timeserts. They WILL fail. Once helicoils are used (and fail), you MUST use the bigsert. That is straight from timesert's website. Otherwise the timeserts will fail in short period assuming they even torque.
 

·
Registered
The Northstar Tuner
Joined
·
2,759 Posts
Wait, so it was repaired once or twice total? Helicoils are not an approved substitute for timeserts. They WILL fail. Once helicoils are used (and fail), you MUST use the bigsert. That is straight from timesert's website. Otherwise the timeserts will fail in short period assuming they even torque.
I work at a CADILLAC Dealership. We have TimeSerts. How would I get a Helicoil?
I have installed close to 50 set of pistons in 00 to 03 and I have no clue on how many 99 and prior Northstars that I have had apart. Hundreds.
I have never seen a Helicoil in a Northstar block. We have a Helicoil kit for the 4100-4900 engines.
If you look at the pictures you will see the block is bad.
 

·
Registered
The Northstar Tuner
Joined
·
2,759 Posts
We had a customer (from a used car lot) come in with coolant running into the valley from the head gaskets. I mean running. It had a misfire on both banks. I pulled the rear head and and looked at the bad threads. I could see that the pits were too deep. I drilled the worst hole out and and installed a TimeSert. I installed a old head bolt with a spacer. I torqued it to 30 ft lbs and it pulled free. The used car dealer that sent of the car to fix got me a whole car that had been in a roll over. I swapped out the engine and let this block sit next to the brake lathe. I have my own personal parts washer spray cabinet. When I ran into an issue with my 5k mile motor in my Fiero I built the junk block motor and installed Norms inserts.

The block was a Virgin all except the one hole.
As you can see in the pictures the inserts are big. look at the threads in the block.
Picture_008_6.jpg
 

·
Super Moderator
White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
Joined
·
86,971 Posts
I would bet that it is not the Timesert that is the problem, but the parent metal was compromised as AJ said in another thread. In that case, nothing is going to hold. Definitely do not waste your time putting another Timesert in and torquing it less. I think your only option now is to use a Bigsert (unless those NSL's are a larger diameter than the Bigserts), get another short block or another engine.
 
1 - 20 of 50 Posts
Top